How Did Jerry Do It? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2009 » Archive through April 21, 2009 » How Did Jerry Do It? « Previous Next »

Author Message
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3739
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post

I'm sure many of us have noticed Jerry Garcia's rig, where he has his stomp boxes mounted in a cab and some sort of remote foot switching system. Does anyone here know how he did this? Are the components commercially available or is this a strict custom job? If so, is there a schematic anywhere? It is midi or analog? As you can see, I gots lotsa questions. Anyone got any answers?

Bill, tgo
Advanced Member
Username: paulman

Post Number: 364
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Bill, that's a good question. I was really intrigued with every aspect of Jerry's rig for a long time. Here's my experiences.

I have had an Ibanez EPP-400 Patch Bay switcher in my rig. This is a footswitch based patch system with 5 effect loop in it. It had it's own proprietary system for the footswitch cable. The main drawbacks were that it could only have 5 effects separated, and it was something you had to pre-program with the effects being on or off and the order they were in. No on the fly additions of other loops unless you had pre-programmed the patch bank to do that. One cool thing was that you could put any patch in any position. So you could have your envelope filter in front of the distortion in patch 1, and the distortion in front of your envelope filter in patch 2. Doesn't sound good in the second scenario but you could do it.

The second item I have used is the TC Electronics G-System which is chock full of great effects, and also has 4 true bypass effects loop controlled from the foot controller. You can use this just as a floor pedalboard (ala Steve Vai) or you can rack-mount the "brain" and have the pedals you put in the loops on the rack in a sliding shelf (my preferred method). The footswitch connects to the "brain" via a Cat 5e network cable (very easy to replace). You could do on the fly on/off for each loop, it's a very robust system The downside is the unit is EXPENSIVE. The four loops are not limiting becuase the unit had GREAT effect banks already built in. The loops are more for your own personally loved pedals that you want to continue using.

There are others on the market that will do this type of thing.

To answer your other questions, I believe John Cutler designed Jerry's first effects switching system. If you email CAE Sound you can probobly get a good answer from them. I think that was from the '77 era and nobody was making or using that kind of stuff. I am pretty sure they designed their own pedal/cable control scheme, but these days MIDI would make the most sense as a control device.

Back to my Bag-o-W***

(Message edited by paulman on April 21, 2009)
Advanced Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 317
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 4:44 pm:   Edit Post

I'm sure youve seen this..
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7930
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 5:22 pm:   Edit Post

Another solution you may want to look at is Voodoo Lab's Ground Control combined with their GCX Audio Switcher.

I finally picked up a used Lexicon R1 foot controller to go with my Lexicon MPX1, and thought I had finally put together the effects unit that would do what I wanted. Yesterday I programmed a foot pedal controlled band pass filter where I could use the foot pedal to sweep the frequency that I was boosting with the filter. But when I tried to program it into my existing programs, the processor didn't have enough room for it to fit. That was disappointing. So I'm at a dead end for what to do next.
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1025
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 5:25 pm:   Edit Post


I don't know how accurate it is, but check this thread and the pictures by Dallek- seems to be trying to recreate Jerry's rig.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 7931
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 5:48 pm:   Edit Post

Dallek is using the Voodoo Lab Ground Control and GCX Audio Switcher.
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 654
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 6:11 pm:   Edit Post

Check out those dual showmans on the right...

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration